Manchester United 4, Newcastle United 1
The anticipation was palpable pre-match, the Ronaldo shirts were everywhere around Old Trafford, and he did not disappoint against Newcastle.
There was a big cheer from a not even half full Old Trafford when he emerged from the Old Trafford tunnel shortly before 2.30pm.
There was a roar when he found the net in the pre-match warm-up routine as kick off drew closer with the stadium filling up steadily.
And the atmosphere created by his announcement during the game pre-amble was electric.
During the game, Ronaldo wandered to the flanks, sizing up the opposition and getting involved and never being afraid to shoot – although he was almost outshone by some long range efforts by Bruno Fernandes.
A cheeky lob from the halfway line by Fernandes who had spotted Freddie Woodman off his line midway through there first half was followed up by some similarly speculative efforts from closer in as Newcastle sat deep.
Ronaldo drew derision from the travelling fans when he tried a spectacular volley which didn’t come off and left him on his backside.Embed from Getty Images
He also skipped past Javier Manquillo and hit the side netting as the chances kept coming.
But while he did try to get involved in the build-up a mistake allowed Allan Saint-Maximin to attack United on the break.
The movement when United were attacking remained good, with Ronaldo and Mason Greenwood both forward looking at set pieces.
But he slipped when trying to get to one corner from Luke Shaw and Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles seemed to have the measure of him by the end of the first half as United ran out of ideas.
But, of course, this is Ronaldo. And he gleefully scooped up the loose ball to score from 3 yards out after Freddie Woodman spilled a long range Mason Greenwood shot from the edge of the area in injury time at the end of the first half.
It was the first goal in the 3pm kick offs but the elation was short-lived as Manquillo quickly equalised after the break after being put through by Allan Saint-Maximin after United failed to deal with the Magpies on the break.
But Ronaldo was in irresistible form and he put United back into the lead after Luke Shaw put him through after 62 minutes.
Newcastle fans immediately called for Steve Bruce’s head after Bruno Fernandes put United clear with 10 minutes to go and the Portuguese was sure of staying on till the end when Donny van de Beek and Anthony Martial came on to replace Fernandes and Greenwood.
And by the time Jesse Lingard made it 4-1 with an injury time strike the Reds were cruising.
A section of the Stretford End stayed behind to call for their hero long after the end of the match while the post match interviews were being conducted on the pitch.
GOALS – Manchester United 4, Newcastle United 1
Man Utd 1, Newcastle Utd 0: 45+2. Cristiano Ronaldo stabbed in from 3 yards after Freddie Woodman spilled Mason Greenwood’s shot from the edge of the box in injury time. #mufc #munnew #nufc
Man Utd 1, Newcastle Utd 1: 56. Javier Manquillo drilled the ball in past David De Gea inside the back post after Allan Saint-Maximin slipped the ball to him. #mufc #munnew #nufc
Man Utd 2, Newcastle Utd 1: 62. Cristiano smashed the ball past Freddie Woodman to restore the lead after Luke Shaw released him. #mufc #munnew #nufc
Man Utd 3, Newcastle Utd 1: 80. Bruno Fernandes curled one past Freddie Woodman from 18 yards out after Paul Pogba found him. #mufc #munnew #nufc
Man Utd 4, Newcastle Utd 1: 90+2. Jesse Lingard stabbed home after Anthony Martial dummied a forward ball from Paul Pogba to allow the midfielder to get on the scoresheet #mufc #munnew #nufc
MATCH STATS – Manchester United 4, Newcastle United 1
Man Utd: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Maguire, Shaw, Matic, Pogba, Fernandes (van de Beek 85), Sancho (Lingard 66), Greenwood (Martial 85), Ronaldo
Man Utd subs not used: Heaton, Lindelof, Bailly, Mata, Fred, Dalot
Booked: Pogba 60 (fioul on Sean Longstaff)
Goals: Ronaldo 45+2, 62; Fernandes 80; Lingard 90+2
Newcastle Utd: Woodman, Manquillo (Murphy 77), Hayden, Lascelles, Clark (Lewis 84), Ritchie, Willock (Hendrick 86), S. Longstaff, Almiron, Joelinton, Saint-Maximin
Newcastle Utd subs not used: Darlow, Schar, Krafth, Fernandez, Gayle, White
Goal: Manquillo 56
Referee: Anthony Taylor